Mailbag Answers II: The Jeff Green Edition

More of this please.

Here we are, over 2 weeks removed from the press conference introducing Jeff Green (among others) and he's still not officially inked to a deal. Everyone else that agreed to a deal has it finalized in writing now, but not Jeff Green. So naturally, folks are going to have questions.

As someone that has no real answers, I'll do my best to ...um, answer them. This time my answers are in green quote boxes. Not because I'm quoting myself, but because it seemed easier to read than italics.

ball is green- Can Jeff Green be sign-and-traded?

No. See, once upon a time, the Mavs wanted to trade for Jason Kidd but didn't have matching salaries. So they called up the retired Kieth Van Horn, gave him millions of dollars, and sent his contract to New Jersey as part of the package (he never played a game). This new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) closes that loophole by preventing players not part of the team at the end of the year to be signed and traded that summer. So no, once and for all, he can't be traded. There's no smoking (trade) gun.

richtrader - Do players with the kind of heart conditions Jeff and Chris had typically make 100% recoveries or is there some risk?

Like Doc Rivers, I'm not a doctor, so I can't say with any expertise. I will say that on one hand, at least one set of doctors reportedly cleared him to play. On the other hand, this is the heart we're talking about here. If you miss on the heart diagnosis, that's often fatal. Celtics fans really don't need any more reminders on that fact (RIP Reggie). So, caution has to be the top priority and I would imagine that risk is always going to be there.

MazingerZ Why does Jeff Green still remain unsigned?

I suppose that's the $9M (per year) question, isn't it? What we do know is that everyone seems to agree that the deal is for $36M over 4 years. The most likely holdup? Figuring out how many years are guaranteed and what triggers could possibly be put into place for them. For example, Pierce has triggers in his contract that make it fully guaranteed if he's on the roster on June 30th, 2013.

Jeff Green is still recovering from a heart condition and I'm sure the team would love to have financial "outs" if he has a relapse. Jeff and his agent would obviously like as much guaranteed money as possible right away. Everyone seems to have all the love and respect possible for each other in this situation, but at the end of the day, it is a negotiation. And this could be where the "figuring out the new CBA" comes into play. Lots of fine print and lawyer stuff to work out.

I don't feel like this is going to end up being a situation where either side would walk away from the deal (barring an unforeseen medical relapse of some sort), but it could take a while to work out. I would imagine that neither side would want to make it a contentious situation either. So don't expect a war of words in the media. It will get done when it gets done. Or maybe not. We'll just have to wait and see.

JeffClarksBiggestFan - They gave Jeff Green starter money. If Jeff Green returns to the player he was in OKC and considering Bradley will miss training camp, will Jeff Green start at small forward and move Pierce to the 2?

I don't see Pierce moving to the 2 but I could see some lineups with Green playing some of the 4. Green is being paid starter money, and in 2-3 years he might be our starter at the 3. Or if anything happens to Pierce, Green might be starting for stretches this year. Assuming Jeff is healthy, he's a very versatile option to have coming off the bench.

Seph - Do you believe its possible for Jeff Green to have such a good year this season that it merits bringing Paul off the bench towards the end of the season? If so what kind of numbers would he have to produce?

It is possible, though I don't think it is probable. A lot of people smarter than me have pointed out that Jeff Green is what he is at this point. Statistically he's pretty much leveled off and that's not a terrible thing but he's probably not going to live up to his "5th pick of the draft" status, never mind $9M a year.

But then again, you never know. Stranger things have happened and nobody will be rooting for it harder than me. In my ideal world, he'll come off the bench and give us 18 points a game and up his career rebounding numbers to the 7 per game range all while learning to be a solid piece of the Celtics dominant defense. That last part is the most often overlooked but I think it has the greatest potential impact. Green could become a very solid defender in the right system.

Regardless, I think the point at which he takes over for Paul Pierce has a lot more to do with Paul's availability than it does with Green's stats.

That wraps up the Jeff Green portion of the program. These are just my best guesses. If you still have questions about Green, please consult your closest Magic 8 Ball.

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